My name is Abhishek Gogoi. I am from Assam, India. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child.
I was told that, as a toddler, my parents had to watch as I missed one developmental milestone after another.
I found strength in my parents’ love
My father used to work as a producer and director at a local TV station and was the family’s sole breadwinner. When I was 11, we lost him to cancer, leaving my then-pregnant mother alone to care for the family. After his death, my mother moved back to her hometown, in Guwahati.
In Guwahati, I made new friends and joined Special Olympics Bharat. I started engaging in sports and began training in cricket and shot put. It was there that I developed a keen interest in cycling. There is something just so exhilarating about having the wind in my hair as I pedal towards the distant horizon. I started to find purpose, meaning and friendship.
My mother works at a day-care centre and did not earn very much. Because of our financial challenges, she was unable to buy me a bicycle to train competitively. My coach knew of the difficulties I faced but believed in me regardless. He would lend me his bike during training so that I could condition myself for all my competitions.
In early 2018, I took part in a national cycling championship held in
Some friends and a “bicycle mayor” from a non-profit organization, BYCS, heard about my win and helped set up a crowdfunding campaign so that I could afford my own bicycle. Thanks to the outpouring of kindness from strangers, I now have my own bike that I have been using to train for the upcoming World Games.
I have been working towards this dream by following a strict training regiment. Every day, from
Despite the exhausting schedule, I continue to push myself to new limits with each session. I know that every bit of effort I spend in training is a step closer to helping me achieve my dreams of bringing home a gold medal for India during the World Games.
Outside of training, I also enjoy cooking, helping my mum with the housework, graphic design and video editing. One day, I hope to continue my father’s legacy as a content producer, working in the film industry in a big city.
My involvement with Special Olympics has truly opened new doors in my life. With sports, I have become more active and positive. I now understand the sense of achievement that comes with surpassing my own limits, the power of determination and the elation of winning a competition. If not for the movement, my life journey would have started and ended only in my own home.
My name is Abhishek Gogoi. I am 18 this year, and I am ready to conquer the world.